International edition
October 19, 2021

The bill was introduced in January by Senator Raymond Lesniak

New Jersey to vote on intrastate egaming by end of 2010

(US).- New Jersey Senators will meet this week to review a bill proposing the establishment of an intrastate egaming system and other gambling-related measures aimed at propping up the Garden State’s ailing race tracks and casinos, with a vote on the proposals expected by the end of the year.


he bill introduced in January by Senator Raymond Lesniak proposes the state’s Atlantic casinos offer online versions of their land-based games to state residents, including poker, blackjack and baccarat, with the state collecting 20% of annual gross gaming revenues.

Speaking ahead of the bill’s review by a state Senate Committee, lobbyist William Pascrell III told local paper The Record that the state was experiencing a "perfect storm" – a recession coupled with struggling horse racing and Atlantic City casino industries – that could be addressed by legalising online gaming.

"New Jersey could become a global mecca for Internet gaming," Pascrell told the paper, adding that any regulatory and licensing issues could be addressed within six to nine months of the bill becoming law.

A study commissioned by lobby group the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) which worked with Lesniak on drafting the bill, has estimated that a New Jersey intrastate gambling system could raise up to us$ 250 million in gross gaming revenue and us$ 55 million in taxes on an annual basis.

Lesniak, iMEGA and Senate President Stephen Sweeney are currently contesting a motion by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to dismiss their attempt to overturn the 1991 federal law prohibiting state-regulated sports betting.

Lesniak and iMEGA have become locked in a war of words with US casino giant Harrah’s over the online casino and sports betting proposals, accusing it of obstructing attempts to hold a referendum on legalising sports betting at the state’s racetracks and casinos, a charge it denies, and also to efforts to pass a bill permitting Atlantic City’s casinos to offer their games online. Harrah’s is supportive of a nationwide regulatory solution for egaming.

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